Monday, March 28, 2016

The Triad of Power



Although the power of the US government steadily increases, its power to control and shape public opinion is diminishing. The rise of the digital age has led to mass communication, allowing news to be spread quickly to people all across the globe. Viktor Fel states, “There was a time when if a Government or large corporation did something completely messed up, no one outside the locality would really know about it. Now, it'll be on twitter, facebook, instagram, and a plethora of media sites within hours a lot of the times.” On the other hand the US government has become so strong that it can make demands of a large company to further the countries interests. In regards to the recent Apple dilemma Ryan Porter comments, “The fact that the FBI can even consider demanding this of a private company is proof enough, and would have been utterly unthinkable to the United States in its infancy.”



Though governments and people hold a lot of power and authority, corporations are the driving force of the world. Out of the top 100 economies in the world, 51 of them are corporations, and 49 are countries. Without receiving any tax contributions, and while having to pay taxes to governments, corporations still succeed in bringing in insane amounts of money, and in turn, power and authority. 



Where do power and authority lie within a society? Is it the government, in corporations, or within the hands of the people? This is a difficult question, but it might be beneficial for us to give these terms a simple definition for the sake of mutual understanding.

the ability of a person or a group to influence the beliefs and actions of other people.


the right given to a person or a position to achieve particular objectives.

I believe that power is with the people, while authority is likely to be with the government and corporations.

To illustrate, despite each teacher’s personal opinion on the Common Core, they are to conform to the methodology when teaching their students because it has been mandated by the school, which in turn was given instructions by the government. They conform because they have to, because the government has the right to make such demands.

On the other hand, John Keating from the film Dead Poets Society made a lasting impact on the boys he taught even though he had no authority over them. This is because he had been endowed with a power that transcends authority. School authorities had no power over the students, even Neil Perry’s father held no sway over his son.

There are many, many more examples of people, who do not necessarily have authority, but have power to influence others, for better or for worse. Edward Snowden had the power to reveal confidential information. Voltaire had the power that transformed the thoughts of intellectuals. Thomas Monson has the power to inspire and uplift those who listen to his words.

Power is with the people. This is trivially true because corporations and governments are made up of people. However, these organizations are not able to move and act as freely as individuals are. Sure, governments and corporations provide the muscle to move things along, but the power is with the people because inspired individuals are the driving force behind a cause, an effort or a reformation.


  1. These interviews you conducted show that people agree and disagree on this topic. The power is difficult (maybe impossible?) to pinpoint, but why should I care as a reader where the power is? I think this is something your next post can try to touch on more fully.

  2. I really appreciate your effort to find some social proof here, and the fact that you asked people out on campus grabbed my attention. As far as production goes, sometimes it's difficult to hear because of wind and such. Not sure how to fix that though.

  3. I like that you have separated it into the three prong. I really like it. I think your claim in general could be something like power is moving due to our new media. Just an idea.